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Style: the Rhythm of Prose by Tina Morgan
Good prose has a sound or rhythm all its own. Learning how to write good prose isn't something that any book or article can teach you, but there are several things you can do to improve your writing.
If reading aloud is intimidating just remember that it's better to read your work to yourself and to catch the mistakes before others read it. Also consider having someone else read a few pages aloud to you or record a portion. The person reading needs to have a good grasp of grammar and pronunciation.
Alliteration is the repetition of the first letter in subsequent words or words in close proximity to each other: mad Mary, or proving innocence in prejudice predicaments. Used with care, alliteration can add power to your writing but it should be used very sparingly or it will create a juvenile or awkward flow. A close relative of alliteration is rhyme, which should be avoided in prose unless you're creating a new nursery rhyme.
Repeated use of names or third person pronouns can also set up an discordant echo through your work. Avoid overuse of your characters' names and resist the urge to remind your readers in every chapter of your character's full name. Once or twice should suffice for most readers.
While sentence fragments are technically incorrect, their judicious use can be used to stress important points in your plot or characterization. Short sentences can do the same but both need to be used with care or they result in stilted, hard to understand prose.
Avoid going to the opposite extreme and creating complex sentence that tire the reader just by their mere presence in the text. Just like short sentences and fragments, the occasional complex sentence can add to your style, but they must be used in moderation.
Finding Your Rhythm:
The best way to find your own rhythm is to write. Put the words to paper. Allow your muse free reign and write a page or two, or ten. Then go over your work with ease of reading in mind. If you stumble over your prose then your readers will too. Also, allow someone with good grammar skills to look over your work.
Workshops and their role:
When you read an author that you particularly enjoy, take a look at their style. Don't try to copy it. Your goal isn't to mimic but to find your own unique voice.
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